How Did I Get a Nursing Job in the UK?

How Did I Get a Nursing Job in the UK?

Lots of Paperwork and Patience!

bloggradWhen I was a senior in nursing school (January 2017), I decided that I definitely wanted to be a nurse in the UK. I had been toying with the idea of working in the UK, but I decided to go big and just do it. I have to make life a little difficult, right? haha. If i hated it, I could just go back home and work in pediatrics in St. Louis.

I googled how I could make my dream into a reality. An agency came up right away. I emailed them and asked how to get everything started. They were beyond friendly and eager to assist me. I was told that I needed at least a year of experience in the United States before I could apply. It wasn’t the agency’s requirement, but was the UK’s requirement. I was bummed I had to wait a year.  I just thought as long as you had your license you could go anywhere. I was really clueless looking back haha.

I worked for a little over a year on an oncology ward in St.Louis, Missouri. My colleagues all knew I would be leaving to work in the UK and they were always so supportive. I was so lucky to have them. The agency would also get in touch with me every so often to see how I was doing, which was really nice.

I knew once my one year of experience arrived, I would take my computer-based theory exam. It was an exam required to work in the UK and you can take that in your home country. I started studying for that while I was getting my year of experience, so as soon as I got my experience in, I  could just take it. I was so thrilled when I found out I passed it.  I took that exam around  August of 2018.

The agency told me that the UK requires you to fill out an application online.  Basically this fancy application is to apply to work in the United Kingdom- not a particular hospital. It’s  very lengthy and includes all background checks, references.. you know.  Once you submit it, the UK might not start looking at it until 6 weeks later because so many people are sending in applications. It only took two months for mine to get approved, so I was pretty happy about that. The agency also sent an application I had filled out (a different one) to a hospital I picked, and they hired me!

I had to take one more exam in order to be an official nurse in the UK: the OSCE. It’s a 6 station practical that you take in the UK. Once you pass that, you are registered nurse in the UK! Woohoo!! You are considered a band 5 nurse- which is just like your basic registered nurse in the US.

I started working in March of 2019 and have really been enjoying Cambridge. It seems like it has been a long journey to get here, but it has been so worth it. You just have to be patient with all of the paperwork and it processing- I think that’s the worst part. Once you are offered the job, you get a visa and a biometric residence permit- you’re good to go!42269576_10156776260949168_6214715890882052096_o-1

Why Did I Move Here?

Why Did I Move Here?

blogHiya! I’m Megan. I recently moved to Cambridge, United Kingdom of February 2019 and thought it would be really fun to talk about my experiences here so far.

I visited the UK in 2012 with the Illinois Ambassadors of Music. I was just 17 years old at the time. We performed all over Europe, and I just happened to fall in love with the UK. I only spent four days in London, but I just found it to be very similar to the US, and yet, so different. There are all of these nooks and crannies that I just want to explore. It’s so easy to stumble upon a really old pub that’s hundreds of years old and grab a pint. If you want that modern view, you don’t have to go very far, because Canary Wharf can give you that classy, modern London feel. I recently found out there is a bar that has a ball pit for adults… how cool is that? (still need to go there). Bottom line, there are so many things you can do in London- it’s a city that never sleeps.

When we weren’t performing in London, we were doing all of the touristy things! We went up in the London Eye and you could see the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben is the bell inside- news to me at the time lol!) AND it wasn’t in scaffolding at the time! (so bummed it won’t be uncovered until 2021!!). We had to see a musical, of course, duh! Soo, we saw Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre-so amazing!! I found it so fascinating that London has tons of theatres and you can see Wicked like any day of the week! In St.Louis, we have one beautiful theatre that will run a show for a couple of weeks and then it switches!

Also, we did not take the tube at all in London out of safety reasons. London was about to host the Olympics in a few days, so our group had to take a tour bus everywhere. I remember getting in a bus for the first, oh dear lol- I forgot about the whole left side of the road thing.bloogg

After four days in London, we took a bus to Dover to get to France! I continued my music journey for a few more weeks. I had an absolute blast. I remember getting off of my plane and hugging my parents and I think the first thing I said to my dad was “I’m gonna move to the UK someday, dad!” in a joking sort of way, but also sort of serious haha. He laughed and sort of rolled his eye and gave me a giant hug back. I was 17 at the time, but little did I know that I would end up making that crazy dream a reality.